31 December 2006

Vacation is beautiful

Even though I hardly miss home when I am away from home, I really do have a good time at home. I packed a couple of books to read at home but I never had a chance to touch them. So busy all the time. Isn't it good? - This topic would take a long to write. So, will write later.

I've been trying to improve my writing skills for the past few months. I do feel that it has improved quite a lot. Still a long way to go. It was just two days back I read poomanam - she is really good. I really loved the post she had put in her my-think-pad about her brother. I even read it for my mother. Poomanam's style is terrific. Thanks to the blog-jantu friends who fell in love with the short-tempered durs. They guided me to poomanam.

Now it's time for making resolutions. Not because it's the beginning of another year. I am re-starting/continuing my research after a very relaxing vacation which changed some major equations in my life. On getting back to Munich, what changes should I make in my life style and other activities? What all should be my accomplishments in the next spell of research - until I take next break or get some internship?

This is the time to think and make the master plan. I even need another small plan to follow the master plan properly! (how many levels of recursion should I need?). Will be putting another entry with some of such ideas and plans for the future.

Gotta go for a "nishchaya-thamboolam" - marriage engagement. There will be food there :)

Signing off,

9 December 2006

The day when I am everywhere

I am writing this post from Dubai International Airport. Today is December 9th 2006. And today I am actually no-where!

Yes, I started from Munich on 8th December and will be reaching Kochi on 10th of December. Today I am spending all my time in three flights and two airports - which could be said that I am no-where or even Every where :) [See the title]

This post is going to be in "God of small things" style. That means, you would find some things from present, then past, then some things about future too. There is no guarantee that it would make any sense to the reader. (Actually, God of small things didn't make sense to many!! Anyway I liked the book and the style too)

The first thing I noticed when I landed here was that, while some things are kept very well, some other stuff are not maintained well. For eg., the bus which took the passengers from the flight to the lounge was no way comparable to the ones you see in Germany (Esp. Munich). The security check was even worse. I don't expect that sort of congestion in Munich Airport. But once you enter the lounge, you see the difference. You will be standing in a very well maintained, clean, beautiful place. The duty free shop, the artificial palm trees and pillars with golden spirals on top of it and even the carpet which gives you the feeling that you are on real desert. You continue to walk and find that the Internet facilities and the area for smokers, these two things simply suck. It's a huge airport and I could find only 20 systems altogether. One end of the lounge has 10 and another 10 at the other end. And a couple of them doesn't work too. However, except for a few things, the Airport is one among the best.

The past two days were hectic for me. Thursday was the best. My day started at 9 in the morning and it was 11:45 when I was back at home. And then I had to do the packing. Slept only for 4:30 hours. Even yesterday was pretty busy. I missed the S-Bahn (Suburban Train) which I had planned to take to the airport. Anyway, I had expected it and had put enough buffer time. :)

Had quite long discussions with Peter, yesterday. Professor was busy and the talk was for just 30 minutes. I went around to say bye and to wish happy Xmas and new-year to my colleagues. When I told about going to India, one of them asked

"Are there poisonous snakes in the area you live?"

"Yes, there would be"

"Would it be possible to get the tooth of a poisonous snake?"

"I don't know, let me see"

"If possible, get one for me. I would pay if it costs"

"May I know what the purpose could be?"

"I just want to use it on my chain/necklace"

"Fine, Let me see whether it's possible"

It sounded a little funny to me. But when I thought about the "tiger-nails" I used to wear, there is nothing funny in wearing tooth of a poisonous snake.

The airport is quite crowded. I can see many Indians. It's a long time since I saw these many Indians together! I am going to see today even more. In the wash-room, the sweeper was an Indian, and should I say explicitly that he was a mallu? It was written on his face that he's a mallu. I cant believe this - those people who don't do any work in Kerala are doing any kind of job here. He comes abroad to become a sweeper. I know, opportunities are less in Kerala, still I can say it for sure that he wouldn't have thought about doing some human-labour there in his home land. Mallus come to Gulf for doing this work here, and the work in Kerala is taken care of by Tamilians. I think, a mallu coming to Gulf is exactly as a Turkish guy going to Germany. His land of opportunities. (Notice the structure of the second last line. It really says where am I located now)

In the afternoon, I'll be going to another land of opportunities - Bombay. Thinking about how the airport will be in Mumbai, I know it's going to be no where near Munich/Dubai. Still it'll be my first time in Bombay airport. I will be meeting my friend Nisha there. Lately, wherever I go, I have someone there whom I know. Some relative/friend etc. My network is growing.

Last night, the S-Bahn which I took after the one I missed, it stopped in between two stops for sometime. Something like the stop in between "Peramboor" and "Chennai central" (there was no foul smell). I started to get tensed. If it gets stuck there, I cant even get a taxi near that place. Anyway the halt was only for 5 minutes. In the next stop, Jimmy and Arun joined me. They just came to see me off. It was definitely a nice gesture even though it was not necessary.

Even in the flight I found an acquaintance of mine. He too is going home with his family for Xmas. Lucky them - they have a direct flight from here (Dubai) to Trivandrum.

A couple of years back, I used to wonder - "how come my father has friends wherever he goes?". But now I am kind of having it in a Global sense (a little exaggerated). Feels good :). Is this something to feel good about? [See the title again]

In the flight to Bombay, I should not take liquor. I am going to meet her. She's not going to like it. Usually I don't care whether others like it or not. But I should care in this case. I would be sleeping all the time in the flight. There is lot of pending sleep. I am suffering from high levels of sleep deficiency.

Some people tend to forget even the minimum manners. Like, warning the person sitting behind you, before pushing your seat back. Yesterday the lady who was sitting in front of me just pushed her seat back and hurt my leg. Similarly, today after the security check in Dubai, the guard was shouting at me "GO" when I was getting my things back from the conveyor belt and wearing my belt around my waist. I think, these things should be learned from Germany (Munich). How nice the people there are. Very decent people.

I am hungry and thirsty. I had one cappuccino and one croissant (26 DHS). The croissant was ultra-bad. :(. The water which I had collected from the flight also is over. And as I said, many things are neglected in this airport, there is no drinking water available anywhere!

So far, that's the story. Let me go around to get some more stuff. The post is quite long. I heartily congratulate you if you read this much.

Signing off, Sands

4 December 2006

Nobody to talk to :(

The past two days were the worst days of my German life. I am not at all in my normal mood. Something is haunting me. I know what is it. But cant write it here. My peace of mind has gone somewhere - I am disturbed to the core. Yesterday was actually THE WORST!! The whole day I was in my room - doing almost nothing.

I am lucky that today I had lot of work to do. It is already 9:20 and I am still at office. This is the first time I am staying late. Because if I go home, I know I will be more disturbed.

Okay Junta, the blog is already enough cryptic. I had to do something - just for the sake of doing. Hence I thought of blogging. Please, no questions. I am desperately waiting to reach home - this feeling too is a new experience to me. Going home and talking to my parents, sister, friends and all will give me kind of relief. Anyway in one week I should be back to normal. By that time, the fight which is happening between my brain and heart will have a winner.

signing off, Sands.

PS: This is a post I would never expect from me. But it happened. I promise you - this is the last time.

2 December 2006

The thief in the ship

There is a saying in Malayalam "kallan kappalil thanne" - the thief is in the ship itself. The saying is not the perfect one for the situation which I am going to describe. Still it's what came to my mind.

Most of us have lived with different roommates, they all were different in their own ways. You might find roommates who eat all the stuff you buy or who makes the place always dirty. Or even the other way - you eat all the stuff he/she buys and he/she never says anything. Anyway roommates give you a better knowledge about how people are.

Now, I am staying as a paying guest. Many times, the house owners get fed up with the "guest" and kick him out. I am sure that's not happening here. I am a very good tenant who helps them with the problems with their computer and other small helps. Here the villain is the landlady's (hostess's) son. He eats my food! Not just once.. many many many times.

He takes the juice, ice cream, sausage, meat-rolls and what not! The first day he took he told me that he was unaware that it was mine. But it continued. I come back from somewhere and find nothing in the fridge. Do you know hows that feeling? It's a lovely feeling.. words cannot express it.

Almost every night his brother comes to me and apologises for this food thief. Anyway the "thief" is not ready to stop. I am not directly talking to this fellow because I know he's going to be here only for only two more weeks. So his brother is asking him to be decent.

Last evening, I had one of my friends with me for dinner. I just started cooking and this "thief" came and requested me whether I can give him some food. I don't understand why I act like an "asshole". Instead of saying "balls to you", I thought - "poor fellow, he's hungry". I always think I have a heart made of stone. Still at these kind of situations I just cant say anything. I get this "poor thing" feeling and I offer help. Anyway I gave him food.

In the table, he was behaving even worse. He was taking the curry as if the whole curry was for him. Finally I had to put a control on that. You see, I was trying to be nice and he was exploiting me more!

I really appreciate him. How a man can be this shameless? Now, you might be thinking - he would be young. No!! he's 25 years old. Actually older than me.

After all of that, I came back to my room and laughed for sometime. The whole affair was really funny. It's a new experience and learning.

Wanted to write some more things. Not now.

Signing off, Sands.

29 November 2006

Schönen Tag --- Beautiful Day

Herr Sandeep Sadanandan, geboren am 16.02.1982 in Coimbarote, ist an der Technische Universitat Munchen als Student immatrikuliert.

Yes, this is what I was waiting for the past 6+ months "Mr. Sandeep Sadanandan, born on 16.02.1982 in Coimbatore, has been enrolled as a student of T.U.M". They have made mistakes in Date of birth and also with my Place of birth. Still I am happy with this. Finally I got it done :)

My Insurance too is ready now. I hope they don't come with a new problem. I got my salary for the work done on conference too. Altogether today was a real good day.

Evening, I will be going for "Casino Royale".

Signing off, Sands

28 November 2006

Teaching and being taught

Teaching - I would say is one of the most difficult jobs ever. You know something and you want to make some other person get that idea in the right way. Teaching one person itself can be quite difficult. Imagine, how it could be when you have many of them!

Sometimes I feel that being a kinder-garten teacher is the most difficult. To get the students under control itself is a hectic task, let alone teaching. The higher the grade goes the topics become more advanced, the students too will be more advanced. At the same time, in my opinion, the standard deviation too will go high - which means, the difference of abilities of students will go high.

I am facing this problem right now. As I have mentioned earlier, I have about 20 students for Fundamental Algorithms. It's very visible that some of them are very well acquainted with the topics and well versed. At the same time, some other are beginners and are finding it hard to follow. To give the class without making the first group bored, nor getting the second group confused - This is my challenge at the moment. Last week, I got some complaints from them. So, it's time for me to learn some techniques.

I always appreciated all the good teachers I had. Actually they are the ones put the seeds of my interest to become a teacher. When I think from their side, now I am able to appreciate them better. (Thanks to Pramode Sir, CPR, HAM,... the list goes on)

Being Taught

Getting recognised by your teacher is one of the best things which can happen to you. Today my Deutsche teacher told me that I could be exempted from the exam because "She knows that how good I am and she is sure that I am the best in the class". Feels great.

Signing off, Sands.

24 November 2006

Excuse me.... & Thank You

[Disclaimer: I am very tired today. I wont be doing any proof reading. So you might find some mistakes and the topics to be completely cluttered]

Once the participants of the conference go back home, I am sure they are going to say "There was this Indian student in TU-Muenchen, he is an excellent gentleman". There is a conference going on in the university and I am one of the staff in the organising committee. It's our duty to take care of the guests/participants. And to be honest, of all the ones, I am doing the best. Of course, the two people from Cameroon and the two from Ukraine are doing good. But the others are simply waste. The two words in the title are the most frequently used words of the day.

There are three groups in the conference staff. One is the German speaking group and the other is Arabic speaking group. Since I don't know both these languages, I am out. It's really surprising that these people are not bothered to speak in English, when they find someone who cant understand their language. The German speaking group does not speak English well, so they could be forgiven. Anyway this is another reason for which I am a single man army and does my stuff well. While doing the work, it pisses me off some of the others just stay without doing anything. But at end of day, when I turn back and look, I am very satisfied. I have done a good job there. As I told, many people have told me directly that I am doing an excellent service to them. I am proud of myself :)

She is a bug in the system. She is the most smart girl I have met. But the smartness is in negative way. Two years back when I met her in Munich Airport, she looked like a nice girl. I thought she was Korean. She is from the land where they have "special gold" (Morocco). There is no special gold. She is the one who wanted to know the elasticity of plastic. She is the one who pleases people by saying what they want to hear. She is the one who acts always. She is the one who lies for nothing. She is the one who calls other girls "bitch" and does the same thing they did. She is JUST THE INCARNATION of Peter Keating.

A couple of years, I was busybox. I wonder whether I am again becoming one? I have my research work to do. This is along with the tutorials I should be giving, for which I should prepare the things in LaTeX and give the lecture. At the same time, I am the tutor of these IIT students. (I haven't done anything this week yet). Again at the same time, I have to do my German Course. Above all these, I am the staff of this conference committee. Yes, I am busy. I am the same old busybox, who even needs to write things in a blog!! And I am very happy about all these.

Signing off,
PS: I missed someone. !! :(

16 November 2006

Immatrikulation and violet light (?)

It seems, finally I will be getting immatrikulated (enrolled as student) on the coming monday :). I just came home and found a letter from the university :)

Some strange observation: I live in the second floor. I came, picked the mail from the mailbox and was taking the stairs. Lights weren't switched on and it was kind of dark. The flap of the mail-cover was pasted to it's main body. I just pulled the flap, and I saw a violet light where the flap comes off the glue !! I stopped for a second and tried it again. Yes, there was a violet light -- very little. But this was really surprising. Next time I go to some supermarket, I should try to get one of the same type to do the experiment.

that's all for now. Life is very busy and I enjoy it :))

signing off, sands.

7 November 2006

Life of Pi | A survey problem

The novel which I am reading these days is "Life of Pi". Back in Hyderabad, while I was reading the novel "Perfect" (it was perfectly boring one), Neo had asked me to try this one. And now I am reading it. So, what about it? Actually, there is nothing great till now (page 60+), but I have already liked the book. Here is one small line I actually liked very much.

"If you take two steps towards God, God runs to you". Somehow I found this line to be very strong.

I'll write more, once I finish it.

Now about the class (Fundamental Algorithms). The students are of very varying levels. Keeping them properly entertained is vey difficult task. Doing a lot of explanation will kill the interest of smart students and if I go in a good pace, the non-comp-sci students will find it difficult. How to get the proper trade-off?

What I noticed is that nobody (one or two exceptions are there) is able to think in an abstract way. Everyone wants everything with very concrete examples and stuff. I think, this is because they are not thinking enough. May be they are yet to be tuned to the wavelength/frequency of theoretical computer science.

Those who are slightly inclined towards mathematics, please try to solve the following problem. (Those who have done their bachelors in computer science are enough inclined towards mathematics)

g(1) = 1

g(2) = 2

g(n) = g(n-1) * g(n-2) ; n > 2

Express g(n) in terms of some fibonacci number.
(Fibonacci series - 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ... I dont have a F(0), it starts with F(1))

Please try, and let me know the answer. Also tell me how was your approach. And if you are not able to solve it, let me know that too.

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: I am doing this blogging from my office. I should rethink about this action.
PS2: Life is unbelievably busy now. So, just thought of putting things in blog, rather than sending some mails.

4 November 2006


Facts are facts,
All for good,
I am happy.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Do you really think, I am crazy? :)

30 October 2006

Valgrind and Fundamental Algorithms

It's been quite sometime since I blogged last time. I was not sure whether I'd be blogging for another week. Life's a little busy and this week it's at it's peak. I am moving from Dulferstrasse to Muenchener Freiheit. More about that later...

In one of my old posts I had mentioned that I would be giving the course Fundamental Algorithms this semester. Finally it was decided that I would be doing the exercises for the course and Jens would be doing the theory session. So far so good.

It happened to be my first class today. I was quite busy over the weekend - preparing the notes/problems-solutions for today's class. It was 10:00 at night (yesterday) when I was done with the notes and the web-page for the same.

Today morning, Jens wanted to have a small chat with me regarding the problems and other details. We were talking and he was quite happy with the stuff I had done :). While talking, I noticed the word "valgrind" written on his desk. Being the co-author of "Valgrind-Howto", Obviously, I was curious about that.

I asked him whether he uses Valgrind and he told he wants to use it and he wants me to give him a small session on "Introduction to Valgrind". I was surprised to know that, there were people around me who knew that I wrote that stuff!, at the same time I thought that "I am screwed". It was about 4 years back I wrote the 'howto' and I hardly remember anything about it. But I was sure that, it would be quite easy for me to give him an intro. And that might even help me to upgrade the 'howto' once.

Somehow, the conversation was slowly moving into programming - yes, it happened. He asked me about M$, C# and .Net. He wanted me to tell him a little about those things too. Good heavens, I only know how little I know about the last two. It's true that I have done programming in C# and .Net, but I don't consider myself as a knowledgeable person who can tell about these things to others. Anyway I assured him - I shall help him in trouble.

Later in the class, I think I did it quite okay. There were 18 students. Never in my life, I had to explain anything to someone who was having a lower degree than me. I am not comparing the importance of degree/qualification. Whenever I have done a presentation or something, I was always doing it in front of my colleagues or professors. Since they already knew whatever I talked, it was always easy.

Today the scenario was different. Those students were new to algorithms/complexity. How do I tell them and explain them "what is what"? How do I go down to their level and explain things so that they get the complete meaning? It wasn't easy, but was exciting.

I was not tensed. But was not in the normal state too. I hope, in another 6 months, i.e, by the end of this semester I would turn out to be a good teacher. Today I did make some silly mistakes, but managed to go over them without panicking :). Very happy about it. I would give 5/10 for my today's class. Next week I should improve.

I want to write many more things. Lucky you!! - I don't have time. Let me do my packing and cleaning, before I move.

Signing off, Sands.

18 October 2006

Plasma Sushi

Before I go to the subject, let me introduce some terms.

TUM - Technical University Munich (I do my PhD in Math/CS department of this University)

Garching - The place where some departments of the above mentioned university is located. Here you have Math, CS, Mechanical, Chemistry, Physics and Medical-Engg(?). This place also has GE-Global Research Centre, The Nuclear Plant (EI), Max Plank Institute (MPI) for Plasma Physics etc. This specific location of Garching is called "Garching-Forschungszentrum" - means Garching Research Centre. Now onwards abbreviated as GFZ.

U-Bahn - Underground Train or Metro

Along with the inauguration event of new UBahn to GFZ, there was an open door day for all the research institutes in the area. Every institute had to make some posters and exhibition of the things they do at present. In TUM also there was poster presentation and stuff like that. I am not planning to explain about the poster I presented along with Peter. It was some tech-stuff of mine. I want to just share the knowledge I gained from some other stalls.

In Max Plank institute, I went to the plasma physics area. There was a guided tour which was arranged by them. They took us first to the Fusion reactor. It was really amazing. I couldn’t believe it when the guide told that the temperature inside the torus of the reactor goes more than one million degree centigrade. Many of the things he explained were based on the simple things which we have learned in school - like Magnetic fields and Transformer coils etc. but in much more sophisticated way. After the long explanation from him, my doubt that physics or math is the real basic science was strengthened. I really want to write about this plasma stuff here. But it might be a little too complicated to explain without diagram and all. So I am not attempting to do that.

Later the group was taken to the power plant where they store the energy needed for the plasma/fusion reactor. They are not generating any power there. They just store it.

The idea is simple. They plug in their motor to the power-grid, the motor starts rotating. The motor rotates a steel cylinder which weighs 200 tons. The more time they run the motor, it accelerates the rotation of cylinder. Once the it is rotating at a speed of 2000 rpms, they switch off the motor. The whole energy has been transformed to the momentum of the steel cylinder. Now, using the usual AC/DC generator, they tap all the energy from the cylinder in just 10 seconds. They take about 10 minutes to come to 2000 rpms, and it is gone in 10 seconds!! :)

I was really excited by this new knowledge I gained. But there was something more to learn on that day.

As per my long time wish, I decided to try "sushi" for the first time in my life. I went to a Chinese restaurant. Along with the other stuff, I ordered sushi too. I still don’t understand why sushi is so damn famous! It was not just tasteless, it had raw meat and fish. I started eating and I felt the meat was raw. I didn’t care, actually I don’t care even now. After sometime, I was sure that it was raw. I went home and checked in the internet about sushi and realized that it is sometimes given with raw meat/fish. That's fine - but my problem is that it was tasteless!

Anyway, I was using the chopsticks quite like an expert.

So these were the things I learnt:

  1. Plasma physics / Power storage
  2. Sushi is not that great
  3. Chopsticks are not that difficult to use.

Signing off, Sands.

8 October 2006

Ich bin kaputt

Yes, I am completely out of my mind. Tomorrow I have my meeting with professor and don’t have any clue about what am I going to discuss. I think I have been working quite okay, during the week. Still I feel that I don’t have anything solid to talk about. May be it’s fine, not every week I can prepare to my best.


This must be the last weekend on which I am working. Weekend break really refreshes you to be ready for work. And this is the real reason for which I am out-of-order. Next weekend I am going out somewhere. If possible, to the Fairy Tale Castle. This weekend O didn’t even go to Wal-Mart. Not because I was working – it was bad weather.


My sister is starting her engineering. She is becoming my junior at GEC. It really excites me. She would be going to IC too. I don’t know whether first year students go to IC. How will she be? Will she become a Linux evangelist? Or will she be like most of the normal girls? – Just not much into the philosophy or flame-wars about these free/non-free software. I don’t have any clue. But, for sure I WILL NOT try to influence her over these things. I am not even going to talk about these things to her – since I have quite a good influence over her thoughts. Let her learn for herself; talk with classmates, seniors and Pramode sir. Once she gets some funda[1] of her own, I should know how she thinks. I am already excited by these thoughts. If I, being her brother, have this much excitement, how much excited my parents would be about her? How much excited they would have been about me? There is only one thing which I have asked her to do – try to have an aggregate over 75% - I wanted to have it and I couldn’t !! (I was very bad at university exams!!) Is it wrong to have such a desire that let her accomplish what I couldn’t?


Nothing comes to my mind so that I can write.. Just empty!! Bryan Adams is singing … “Everything I do… I do it for you….


Signing off, Sands.


[1] Student Slang at IIT Madras [Funda (noun): Fundamental principle/concept/idea : The funda is simple] – There is even a Master Thesis done about the Lingo at IIT Madras. [LINK PDF]

4 October 2006

Growing towards maturity

I used to think, the crucial growing (mentally, philosophically) period of a male is from 16-21. It is the time at which he puts the foundation of his character, principles, basic philosophies etc. But now it seems that similar things are still happening to me. I never wanted to be a perfectionist. But I am slowly becoming one.

Lately, I am getting irritated a lot by my own mistakes. I know I have grown to a stage that no more mistakes are entertained. Others might be able to take that. But I am not able to accept that I made a mistake. Whether it is a single dialogue or a decision or a deed. I want to do the RIGHT thing. I am sure, this is not the influence of Mr. Narayanan (Courtesy: Mr. Ramakrishnan). But I am slowly developing this perfectionist feeling.

Lot of dreams.. lot of them that even telling/writing them out would make people laugh at me. And the tension/question that how will I catch my dreams? How long will it take? Am I working enough for that? The first two questions don’t have clear cut answers and will never have clear answers – since the dreams grow further when I reach near them. But the answer for the third question is “NO”. I know I have to work more. Then why not? (My favorite questions are Why and Why not?)

Yes, Why not? Is it because I am not dreaming enough to work for it? Or is there any other obstacle? Not able to figure out. Still things are not hopeless. Just that they are a little slow. I have to finish my PhD in 3 years from now – that is the maximum time I can give for it.

I know what I lack now. It happens that my friends who can give me that fire are not with me. For that matter, how many friends do I have? By friends I mean those who know me truly to the core? Very few. I always think that I am rich in the case of friends. Not really. Some got married – especially one I had admired very much as a person and that friendship is not going to be that strong anymore. Were we friends ever? I don’t know.

I don’t want to make a count of lost ones nor the ones I have now. I just know that the ones who can boost me up are not with me now. So, everything I do has to come from my own energy, enthusiasm, motivation. And that is really very difficult. Being my own PM.

Tonight seems to be a good one. The regular meetings with prof used to boost me up to a good level. Tonight something else also happened to help me gain a little more momentum.

In another 70 days I’ll be home for my first vacation. Before I go home, I should have done a good deal of my literature-survey and other stuff. Once I am back, I should be ready to have my hands on something solid. Yes, the transition from a computer scientist to a mathematician is affecting me. Actually the transition is a little slow. I believe that is always so. If it is very easy, then it’s not worth it … any one can do. If it takes time and hard work, then only a chosen few can do it and I have to be one among them…

Enough for tonight… I have started blabbering…


3 October 2006

Who should read my blog?

In Karthik's blog he says that you should give your blog-address to close friends only.

Acquaintances should not read the blog. Others can read if they come to know about it or come across it. But the advantage is that they would not come across in ur daily life or if they become ur friends, then it would be in the close friends circle ( somehow this theory of mine should be refined. Help needed....)

If you have a blog, let everyone read it. If you have something which you don't want anyone to see but you want to write, make the blog and keep it as draft forever. Or if you want to share something with a selected few, write it in a mail and send it across. His feeling comes from the thought that what someone would think while reading the blog?
Personally, I don't think what others think about what I think. I think for me. It doesn't matter what others might feel about it. If I write something, let people read it - irrespective of their relationship with me. Or if it is a secret, I don't write it in the blog. Blog is basically an open book or public white board and don't restrict anyone.
Another option you can do is to have a blog and be an unknown author. Act to be Mr. X and disclose you identity to the selected few.
I recently created a new blog (Malayalam). Before creating, I thought I'll play some Mr. Unknown - I have always wanted to be a Mr. Unknown (kind of fantasy). I even created a new blog and all setup. But finally I decided that whatever I say has to be mine and I would be proclaiming that proudly. Why should I think some person should not know that it's I who is thinking/writing? Hence I came back with my real identity - I was very uncomfortable till I came back to ME - That is my existence. So this Mr. X thing really doesn't appeal me.
My answer to the question in the title is this - I don't care as long as a few selected people DO read it. I want them to read it. Others don't matter.

29 September 2006

Computational complexity of peeling a banana with special tools

I kept wondering all this while - What is happening to all the theoretical computer science knowledge I have? How do I really mix mathematics and CS together? But it seems that the tough times are coming... Tough time in the sense, challeging time ie the interesting time :)

Had the weekly discussion with prof. He was asking me to prepare on one or two things per week and giving me a well defined line through which I had to proceed. But today it slowly started changing. He was giving me some ideas about some algos for this mathematical computations.

Okay okay, I shall explain. Say, we have a matrix. We have to find out the determinant. How do we do it? We need an algorithm. Right? So, matrix is a mathematical object, it's determinant also is a mathematical object, the calculation of determinant is a mathematical process. But we might have different ways to calculate it. So using complexity analysis, we say which method is better/best. We have to consider both time complexity and space complexity. This was an example.

Today he was telling me about some computational-geometry/algebra algorithms which are doubly exponential in time and exponential in space. (doubley exponential is 2^2^n - 2 to the power of 2 to the power of n; exponential is just 2^n). Also asked me to get ready for these kind of stuff and do a deep dive. Things are coming the way I was expecting - I learn mathematics and with the basics more or less set, I can look into computational issues of some special tools used in mathematics (eg. Groebner Bases).

I am heading to the library to take the book by Papadimitriou - Computational Complexity. Need to refresh my complexity theory!!

- Boiled Banana - Exercise for malayalees -

Take the kerala style big banana (Nenthrappazham); cut the head and tail so that it looks like a sausage; boil it (Puzhunguka). Make sure that it is not overcooked.

Now you have the whole banana, cooked and the skin is a little thin after boiling it.

Take a knife and fork. Try to put the banana from the cooked vessel to your plate. Once that's done successfully, peel the banana - NO, not with your hand. Use the knife and fork. The experience you will have is what you call real fun.

I was having weiss-wurst (Typical Bavarian White-Wurst) with my colleagues and professor. There is a small covering on this wurst [Just like a condom on it ;) ]. Before eating, the cover needs to be taken out - yes, only knife and fork. I was scared that my wurst will fly to some other plate while I was taking of that thin dress of the wurst. By the time I went to the second wurst, I used my hand. What the heck? God has given us hands to undress the wurst!

Tomorrow I'll make one more trip to Oktoberfest. I've to wait a whole year for that to come again. I am sad that I dont drink beer - I dont like the taste. :(

Signing off, Sands.

27 September 2006

What is DAN?

"Dear Sandeep, (Dan)

_____I'm very happy to know you!
_____Thank you for all!

- Name" (Name was the new french girl's name)

I went to have a bath and found a Post-It note on the mirror with the matter above written on it. In the evening she had asked me if I can join her for a coffee some day.

Things are getting interesting ;)

By the way, since the post-it looked like mine and my post-it is not seen, I realized that she had flicked it when she was here in my room this evening!! That means, things are getting more interesting ;)

Dan is my little secret. (Any guess?)

Signing off, Sands

26 September 2006

Forced to wear Bermuda (atleast)

Two-three months back, I had written about the problems I faced while moving in to the new room. I had cleaned it up well and had changed it to a small heaven. My neighbor and I were having a common washroom. So, keeping that clean was not just my job and it was not always at its best. But he went back to France two months back and from that time onwards, I am really in heaven. I have the common place only for me, the washroom only for me. For a small rent (260 Euro) I was enjoying so much of space.

One month back, a couple came to stay in the new building opposite to my room. Since back side of my room is completely glass, they could see me always (if I have not put the curtain). But they have very small window and their rooms are dark - so they don't have the same problem. And above all, that lady comes and stands at the balcony to smoke - at least 10 times a day. So I was forced to wear at least my Bermuda when I am in my room. (So, now you know what I was used to wear oterwise). Or I should always keep the curtains down! I loved physical freedom and I preferred to keep the curtains down than wearing Bermuda ;)

Yesterday, came this new person for the room which was empty. It's a girl. In my last entry, I wrote about my happiness whenever I got a girl as my companion in bus. But the case was different when I travelled in train. (a small diversion from the topic)

In train, at times you get RAC ticket and you have to share your berth with somebody. If, unfortunately that person turns out to be a lady, you lose your piece of mind. You cannot sleep, you cannot stretch yourself. You never know - while sleeping you are going to touch forbidden areas and later becoming a victim of women-abuse-case. (Poor Mr. Joseph in Kerala. I don't believe that he did anything nasty in that flight). So, I never wanted a female to share my berth. For that matter, I never wanted RAC ticket itself. ;)

Now, I am having the same problem. When the room and everything was completely in my custody, I was free. Day or night, I used go out of my room without caring about my clothes, I used go with bare minimum clothes or even naked at times. It wont work anymore! I have to have at least my Bermuda to get out of my room. And there is no curtain to be drawn to help me this time.

I am being attacked from both the sides. From the front side of my room and also from back side. Isn't it a bad thing to happen?

To the question - "Am I ashamed of being partially nude in front of a girl?". To an extent, my answer is "No, I am not". But, I think this comes under the "decency" stuff. I am a decent guy - in thoughts and in deeds. I have to continue that way.

It was a fast blog. Haven't done proof-reading. Signing off, Sands.

PS: The new girl is nice, good looking, talks to me quite a bit. Even came to my room to use my laptop. So, the next door girl is not completely a curse ;)

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16 September 2006

A call after two years and a five year old incident

I slept at 7 in the morning after a good night-out (Was watching Indiana Jones). Somebody called me up at 11, for some not so important matter and I decided not to continue my sleep. I went to have my tea, today I confirmed that my tea cup is leaking. The good thing is that it leaks only one drop. Once that drop drips, it won’t leak anymore. So, earlier I was confused whether it really leaks or I just felt that. Anyway, today after my proper observation in half sleep, I cried out "Eureka…!!". :)

Back in my room, I got another call. I had to hear just "Hey Machaa" and I recognized the caller. It was Nike, and we were talking after two long years. I am sure; I have not talked with him after I left IIT on Aug-31 2004. It felt very good talking with him after a long time. Tomorrow he is going back to India. I would have gone to meet him if I had not been to Brussels a few months ago. I should meet all/most of my MTech friends when I go home. This visit to India is going to be a hectic one.

He was one of those persons who played a good role in my placement. That night, he and Vamsi came to TCS-lab (Theoretical Computer Science Lab) and asked me not to go home that weekend - "M$ is coming for placement". I was not sure whether I should attend the interview. But after that conversation, I decided to go for it - Just for experience and the experience was good :)

Changing the topic..... – Topic changed to five year old incident.

Here, in the public buses, there are two kinds of seats - One is the normal seat which is sufficient for a single person, and the other one is a little wider. The wider seat is not enough for two, but more than enough for one. Two persons can sit, in case they are ready to adjust.

When I travel, I prefer to sit in this wide seat. If the bus is crowded, I move towards one side of the seat so as to make room for one more person. What I have observed is, most of the times girls come and sit there. Say 90% - this surprises me!! I am not going to write what I think the reasons could be. But, whenever a girl comes and sits, it reminds me of something.

During my bachelors, we used to take the college bus from the stop near Shakthan-Thampuran Market. Since that was the first or second stop, the bus would be empty and we could sit wherever we wanted. I always had Hiran or Joby with me during the journey. Every time, we took the 5th or 6th row from the front-door. If we take the rows in front of it, we would be surrounded by girls - which Hiran/Joby did not want. If we take the rows at the back, there won’t be any girls around - which I did not want. If I, Hiran and Joby - all three were there, we sat together and talked. If only one of them was there, I made him sit in the window seat; I would sit in the middle seat and keep my bag in the aisle seat.

There were stops from where the bus got really crowded. From those stops, girls would get into the bus and would be looking for seat. The moment a girl finds my bag on the seat I would remove it and make the seat free. She would come and take the seat and I would be happy to have a girl sitting next to me and to have some small talks :)

This technique was not flawless. Sometimes some boys would come and take the seat if there weren't any seats free in the back. Some other times, some boys of my acquaintance would come and take the seat so that he can have a jolly-trip talking to me :(. I only knew how bad it felt to lose the opportunity of flirting.

But now, when a male or female whoever comes and sits, it doesn't matter. Times have changed - me too.

Signing off, Sands.

5 September 2006

What is your opinion about food shortage in rest of the world?

Okay, don't frown at me. I know most of you would have received the following joke as a forwarded-email. But, if you read till end of this post you have a small surprise waiting there.

Scene 1 - China

Some journalists go to China and ask Chinese people "What is your opinion about food shortage in rest of the world?".

The Chinese ask back"What is opinion?"

Scene 2 - Africa

The same question is asked to Africans, their response was "What is food?"

Scene 3 - Europe

Europeans' response was "What is shortage?"

Last Scene (#4) - United States of America

Americans ask, "What do you mean by rest of the world?"

End of joke.

Everybody laughs. When this joke was shared among a group of my friends here also, all laughed. But one European friend really asked "What is shortage?"!! Isn't it unbelievable?
I found it quite amusing. No hard feelings towards anybody. Just a harmless joke, take it that way. Especially, no hard feelings to the friend mentioned above.
Just wanted to share this.
Signing off, Sands.

1 September 2006

Meeting with Professor and Fundamental Algorithms

1.MOM - Minutes of Meeting

I had a meeting with my professor today morning. It was fine; we decided on a couple more appointments in a series to have more technical discussions. In another way, I am slightly screwed. He wants me to focus on Groebner basis (GB) now; where I was concentrating on HECC the past 2-3 months. I have to brush up the whole GB stuff in 6 days! I find it to be thrilling :) Isn't it nice to slog through? I sometimes like that.

2.Fundamental Algorithms

I asked him about my next semester teaching job. After consulting with Swen, I think, the chances are more that I will be giving the course "Fundamental Algorithms". This is not yet decided. Otherwise, I will be the teaching assistant for one of the other courses of which all are great. I've voted for Randomized Algos. (There is a "the name sounds good" incident - First day at IIT, one classmate of mine asked me about the courses I would take. I had said Randomized Algorithms as one option. He asked why. My reason was "the name sounds good". What a reason for taking a course!!)

Anyway, the reasons are different now. I will be on cloud nine, if I get "Fundamental Algorithms". I will do a terrific job on that.

3.Update on insurance.

Finally, a AOK (insurance firm) lady has agreed to give me insurance - without needing student Id for the time being. I hope to get my student Id in another 2-3 months. So it will be fine.

Signing off, Sands.

31 August 2006

State of Mind

You know what? It's been 5 months since I came here, more than 4 months since I applied for my "Nostrification" - the process that gets me the student status. Still my enrollment seems to be a distant dream! My health insurance, student dorm, concessions in trains, etc. all depend on that.

I do not have any clue about what these authorities are doing? How long a man can show his patience? I go to the downtown office, they tell me to go to Garching where the pointer is always to the downtown office. This is what is happening for almost 3 months. All this while I was trying to defend them when someone said "they are always like this". But, I feel irritated now.

The insurance story is completely different. I am of-course not an employee of any institute. I am a "promotionsstudium" (PhD student), which does not come in the normal student class. It boils down to this - I am neither a student nor an employee. These insurance companies don't have any option to have a policy for a person like this. So what am I supposed to do? I am the only non-German in the whole lot, that means I am the only one facing this problem. All others have their insurances from the beginning. Now the only option seems to be going to any of the private firms - which means, pay 3 times what I should really pay.

The best part is, nobody seems to know what I should be doing. Isn't that great?

I am normally a 'never-tempered' person. I generally don't complain too. I always try to defend the officials when these kinds of problems come. But the situation demands me to be the other way around. Let me see whether I can do?. By next weekend I should have my insurance ready.

Completely frustrated.

Signing off, Sands.

22 August 2006

Doha and Idli

Hey janam lethe jagah mein ek hi
Ek hi pauda unhem hei paaltha
Raath mein un-par chamktha chaand bhi
Ek hi si chaandni hei taaltha

I don't remember who is the author of this - Kabirdas or Surdas? It was there in my highschool Hindi syllabus. After a long time, today morning when I got up, this was there in my mind. Just thought of writing it down. (Comment the mistakes)

By the way, Munich has come back to its normal spirits. It's raining all the time and the atmosphere is dark always. But after the unbearable summer, this climate seems to be better than anything else.

Such a rainy day, 10 in the morning, I feel like having some idli and sambhar!!

Signing off, Sands.

17 August 2006

Dum Dum

Part I - Second law of Thermodynamics
According to the above named law, "Entropy" is ever increasing. The disorder of the universe keeps increasing. Some time back, this was my argument against anybody who commented about the kind of chaos used to be there in my room (at IIT and at Oly-park Munich). Later in Hyderabad, I found that entropy wasn't increasing as it used to do in my earlier rooms. Still the second law of thermodynamics came for my help whenever I found my room cluttered.
Lately, another law has become more important to me than this second law, and that is "The first law of sandeep" for the time being. - "Well-structuredness, order and organized-life-style should be ever increasing in a smart man's life". I found myself changing slightly. I became quite organised for some time, and gradually started falling back to the old pit. But, I was able to control and didn't fall back. I keep my room more or less clean; I have a not-so-bad book keeping, etc. Still I know I have far more to go. I had never found a role model to grow up-to. In terms of technical organization, I wanted to be like Knuth. Otherwise, in daily life who can impress me? May be I should go without any role-model and be my model myself. Possible and not a bad thing too.
Today, I went to Frau. Kalter, Secretary of Dean, Informatik. It's the fourth time I am going to her office. First time itself, I noticed the cleanliness in her room. But the cleanliness was not noticed as much as I noticed her. She is one of the sweetest women I've ever met. (Don't think the wrong way. She is an elderly lady). The way she asked about my problem, and the way she offered her help - were the best kind of treatment I've had in any office. No need to say, my problem was solved.
Today it was for another thing I went there. She again offered me the best solution she could, even though the problem didn't directly come in her section. I had a small conversation with her. That time I had the opportunity to look around the room, her table etc. Wow!! The order in which things were maintained there was unbelievable. If someone wants to keep a room clean and organised, it should be like that. I had to just mention what I wanted. The next moment she took the right file and the right paper from it. I am sure that, the problem with which I went there hasn't happened in Informatik department at least for the past 3 years. (Trust me. When I say at least 3 years, I have my reasons, not just blabbering)
After the small conversation, I could feel that she is one of the most well organised persons I've met. I wont meet her frequently - may be only once or twice more, that's all. But I've learned some new things from her. She is what you call "nimitham" in Malayalam. A "nimitham" which has affected me.
To conclude it - "Entropy is ever increasing; Effort is needed to control it. Those who are floating put no effort. If you want to be different and don't want just to flow with the current, put the effort to control it. Reduce the amount of entropy in your life."
Part II - God of Small Things
I think I was a little late in reading the book with above mentioned title. Beautiful work. I would say that the last 10 pages could have been avoided. But it would leave the book incomplete - without the *masala*. May be for the first time, I got tears by reading a book - when ammu died.
The copy which I have at home Nellayi has a small story to tell. I was in my journey to IIT, as usual a Sunday evening, Aleppy Express, Trichur station. On the opposite platform another train came and stopped. I saw an old bus-stop-friend of mine. As he saw me, he jumped down to the rails and came to my train and said "Hai". Talked for sometime and just before he went back to his train he gave me a copy of the book and told that he dealt with a book agency at that time. I still dont know his name.
The copy I just finished reading also has a small story to tell. It was given to 'her' by 'him'. That's all I can say about it. Because, the story is not mine.
Wanted the entry to be a long one. I accomplished it.
Signing off, Sands.

4 August 2006

PM's job is tough

Yes, going back to school is very difficult especially when there is no course which I should do, there are no assignments, no lab-work and nobody to question me. I am doing a project and I have to be my own PM. One needs lot of self-motivation for this.

I always had been in the creamy layer, i.e, I was always a member of the lucky lot. Forget school, Look from GEC onwards - I was a member of the lucky ones. IIT too the same, was the only one to come abroad with schol, was the only one to get to MS. Finally, now also I think, I am the only one to have full scholarship in my lehrstuhl(chair). No need to do any project in the department, no need to be a teaching assistant, literally nothing I have to do other than what I WISH to do. No constraints, No restrictions!!

I think that's great. That's the curse too. Haven't had any difficulties. It was always a bed of roses. But now being COMPLETELY free is a little difficutlt. Lot many distractions. In MS, I know how productive I was. Here I am productive, but not as much as I was there. Just because, there is no one to tell me "DON'T DO" when I am into something which is of less priority. I need to prioritize things, do them according to priority. I have to do it for myself. That is what a PM's job is. Prioritize the stuff needed for the project, make the developer do it, make sure it's done perfectly - through testers. Doing all of it single-handedly is really not simple. But, that's the only way to go and that's how I want to go.

The good news: I think I am doing it more or less okay. Still, have to improve my skills. Have to develop the ability of putting more appropriate deadlines. Have to develop the ability of doing things without waiting for the deadlines to come. The sooner I improve, the better.

- Sands.

PS: Now, I am able to appreciate what Rohit used to do. Thanks to him.

28 July 2006

ANTs are going home

So, today is the last day of the conference. All the ANTs participated in ANTS are going back home to do more research and come back for next ANTS at Banf, Canada. I thought of posting things daily and later thought that it would be boring for MY readers (now I know there are a couple of my nice friends keeping an eye on this webpage). Last three days also had been quite eventful - more eventful from the point of view of conference and not that eventful from the point of view of site seeing. I had been meeting quite a number of people and having 'small-talks'.

Main places I visited include FernsehenTurm which means "Television Tower" in plain English. I went there with lot of plans in mind. Once I reached on top of the tower which is 203 metres above the ground, I was crazily taking pictures from all sides. I felt that one can see whole of Berlin from there. I saw the long queue to the next floor. I also joined the queue. The entry was restricted - this made me wonder what so special is there on the top. So, I continued to wait. It came to a point that next person to go up was me. The very well dressed lady at the entrance asked me "Wie viel personen ...?" (How many persons?). I gave her a thumbs-up and told "eine" (One). She gave me a strange look, and asked - "fur restaurante?” Oops!! Then only I realised that there was a restaurant on top of that which was the reason for restricted entry. What to do? Should I go there? YES. I decided to go. I know it would be quite expensive. Still, I came this high and waited for quite long time and now how can I just go away?

I got the table 14. Just in another two minutes a pair of love-birds came and shared the table with me. The girl was really good looking and she sat next to me. To be honest, I was in no mood for looking at her nor try to converse with them. Because it was just then I had discovered that the restaurant is rotating!! It was a cool feeling. I am in a rotating/revolving restaurant. I was looking out and had forgotten to make a note of time. Later I noted down the time to calculate the angular velocity of the rotation. The food was really nice and so was the bill. I had expected it to be very high but it was reasonable. I then came out with the knowledge that all my plans are screwed up. I had spent almost one hour for something which I had kept just 15 minutes. I kept walking in the city and didn’t do anything great that evening other than coming back to hostel and sleeping well. By the way, the angular velocity is around 1 degree per minute. Now I am in no mood to put it in seconds and radians which are supposed to be the standards. Also, the restaurant was at 207 metres above ground and it's the highest in Berlin (probably in Germany itself).

There are only two more places worth mentioning. They are Charlie's Check point and East Side Gallery - both are related to the Berlin wall. Check point was the check post between East Germany and West Germany. I would definitely put the pictures at my homepage. East side gallery is a living part of the wall where there are quite a lot of paintings on the wall. Some of them are really good. I was surprised to see the name "Jolly Kunjappu" near a painting on the wall. I don’t think that name can be of any non-malayali.

Yesterday evening was the dinner for all the participants of ANTS. I and Christophe went together to the dinner. I and he were wondering whether we should be wearing formals. Anyway I changed from my half-pants and t-shirt to a decent jeans and a much crushed shirt. He also was more or less the same way. Once in the UBahn (underground train), we met a couple of other participants who were in their half pants and t-shirts. We just shared the thought we had earlier. One of the experienced guy really laughed and told - "no one expects that from mathematicians". I too joined to laugh. But with "am I mathematician yet?" echoing in my mind.

We reached the castle/fortress where we had the party. Went around the fortress to have a look and went back to the party place. The wine they gave was very sweet and the first sip itself told me that it was a quite expensive variety. Anyway that was not my thing yesterday. I and Christophe stood there near a table for a long time. No body was even bothering to come to us and get introduced and since all others were "great people" at least in our eyes, we also hesitated to do the same. Went and sat at a table where there were two seats free. To my surprise, the person who was sitting opposite to me was Ming Huang - so who is he? He is the person who wrote that cryptic paper on which I am breaking my head for the past 2-3 months!! I felt great. Was with him and Blair, the number-theorist, for 2-3 hours. Very nice people. We were discussing just the culture and tradition of the countries we come from - India, China, USA and Belgium. It was very nice and informative.

Later, after the dinner, while coming back to hostel, there was Peter Montgomery also along with us. Since I have this "ultimate respect" factor, I didn’t even think about talking to him except for some small, very small one word answers.

Now, my readers all are enough bored with the travelogue. Let me get to the lecture. Rest of the details will be broadcasted once I reach Munich - which would include the "Gambler's Story and the Model Girl" which I missed out in this post.

Signing off, Sands.

25 July 2006

Met some of them

Had lunch with Alexander Kruppa. Who is this Alex? He is the world rank 3 in factorisation. Using elliptic curve methods, he is number one. These are not the things of interest. The real thing is, he is from Technical University Munich, where he works in chair 14 (LEA) with Prof. Mayr, and his advisor is Hanjo Tauebig. I should be surprised, right? I am at the same chair working with the same professor and Hanjo sits in the next room. Isn't it nice? But sad that I didn't know him before.

Was talking for sometime. What I understand in that there are quite a number of students here who are not able to follow many of the talks. We haven't had any formal education in Mathematics, we are trying to learn it for ourselves, we have jumped in, now learning to swim is absolutely essential to survive. This is true with atleast me, Christoff from Brussels, Alex and also the associate professor from Lebanon who is now trapped in Germany because Beirut airport is closed. When he told me that he is slowly understanding algebraic geometry, I couldn't believe my ears. There is no wonder I am struggling to understand algebraic geometry. A person like him is understanding it now. So, I also will take some time. The less I take the better for me. Every beginning is small which later grows to something big. (I hear him saying - destined to do great things)
It's time for the next lecture, let me go. I just thought of scribbling this into notepad but now decided to post it to blog. So that I don't have to worry where I saved it and search for it. Will be easy to revisit at a later time and remind myself about my own status.

- sands.
Tail Piece: He made a bold and brave decision. I am so happy for him. Have decided to put a testimonial for him in orkut. Let me get back to my room in Munich.

24 July 2006

First day in Berlin

As usual, I was late in packing my stuff and all. Anyway at the eleventh hour things were done.
Yesterday was my first experience with 'Nacht Zug', which means night train. To be honest, second class sleeper journey in Indian Railway is far better than this Nacht-Zug business. Eight hours from Chennai to Kerala or the journey back, how nicely we can sleep. Here I had one push back seat and all, but it's like the bus journey (don't misunderstand to be VOLVO). The sad part is that one side ticket is 70 euro.
But one should say all of it. There were a couple of good things too. It started and reached at RIGHT time (Punctual up to seconds). It had very clean wash rooms. Above all there was a personalized reading lamp.
I read almost till 2:30 Agatha Christie's Crooked House. I definitely won't recommend that book. May be because I am so obsessed with this Sherlock Holmes, I couldn't enjoy that 'crooked house'. What Holmes would do in 15-20 pages was explained in some 180 pages. Again, one should say it all. The twist at the end was good. I think, I being a doctorate student in Math, I should put out two conjenctures.

Conjencture 1: There is no detective story as good as Sherlock Holmes.
Conjencture 2: There is no city in the world which is cleaner and safer than Munich

It seems to be correct again and again. Paris isn't, Brussels isn't, Berlin also isn't safe and clean as Munich. There is no wonder Munich is one of the best places to live. I have to compare it with Zurich and Vienna.
No need to explain the small troubles I had to get my room. But, I cannot avoid writing about the room and building. The building is an antique. Later at night when I asked the youth hostel warden, he told it is 115 years old. Narrow corridors which are always dark. Rooms too are very small and look really old. The lift/elevator is a piece of work. Made in 1959!! It's going to be the Golden Jubilee of it in another 3 years. Still it works fine.
I had a strong feeling of insecurity, the whole day. I don't know whether it was because of the old building I live in or is it because of the not-so-good-city. More about this later.
At the conference "ANTS" I was really having a good time as well as bad time.
First of all, after getting my registration, I went for my copy of LNCS 4076 (LNCS = Lecture Notes in Computer Science). I was surprised and was glad to see that CPR is in the editorial board of the book. I still haven't realised how BIG is CPR. Then I comferencewalking in the conf hall and reading the name tags of different people. I first caught the attention of an Indian fellow and smiled at each other. By the time one old prof came and started chatting with him. But, I heard him introducing him as 'Venkie'. I knew who was this 'venkie' - Head of Cryptography and Security Algorithms, Microsoft Research.
It was during Lunch time, I got to talk to him. To my surprise, he remembered my story. I had to tell him that I am CPR's student and had had some email-conversations with him. He told felt rest. Cool, it really fet great. May be I wasn't good enough for him at that time, but he had noticed and still has in mind. Two minutes later he came to me and asked whether I have a head-phone-set. I gave him my ear-phones of my iPod. A down to earth man. Why all great people are so?
While talks were going on, one short fellow came and sat next to me. I was shocked to read the name tag - Paul Zimmerman. Later while his talk, I came to know that Lenstra was sitting behind me and Peter Montgomery was a just couple of seats away from me. I don't have any idol worship kind of stuff. But, I was feeling really good. To be together with these people is really great. Then again I understood the value of this conference.
Me being too intelligent, I hadn't installed the driver for my WLAN. But there is always the good old LAN. I used it for my network activities.
Venkie's talk was a little different from others' talks. He had more application point of view. His was PPT were others had PDF. His had the pro touch than others. But all were the same for me - went far above my head.
Later in the evening I went for my Berlin tour. Started at around 6.30 and was back at 10. The hauptbahnhof is really terrific. I think it is better than even stationort. A real great railway station on the banks of Spree. Went on walking till the Reichstag - Parliament. Yesterday, iPod was in a good mood and the charge wasn't getting depleted very fast. Good for me.
The building is nice, eventhough it badly needs a cleaning and painting kind of stuff. It's nice to keep the old things in tact. But, why cant they keep them clean? The top of it has been done wonderfully. The glass dome and the funnel kind of stuff, everything is done nicely. Still, I don't understand the need of it. Isn't it beautification for the sake of beautification? According to Roark, we don't do anything for beautification, the good design automatically has beauty. Anyway it was good.
Then I went to The Gate - there is no other gate to be called 'The Gate' other than "Brandenburg Gate", "Brandenburger Tor" in German. Took pictures and then back home.
For the first time in my life, while walking all the way I was a little lonely. I felt it slightly. Generally, wherever I go, I alone or with others, I am complete. But for the first time, I felt some kind of incompletion. May be I wasn't in a good mood. That's all. Today I will be fine.
Before sleeping, I was thinking why I was having the insecure feeling, quite many times during the day. I knew that was because of my gadgets. I had a laptop, ipod, two cameras, another mp3-player, a thick gold chain, quite a good amount of money and a not so bad new mobile. Then in that case, I think, I ought to have the feeling. Not insecure feeling - but a need to be very careful. Took the decision to avoid having these many things while travelling.
It has become a long article now. Should stop, not because it's long but I have to go for today's talks. I need to send mails to home and to some other people.
Signing off, Sands.

15 July 2006

Oru kili paattu moolavae... LYRICS

Singers: Chithra K S, Yesudas K J
Music Director: Raveendran
Lyrics: Kaithapram

Oru kili paattu moolave maru kili etu paadumo (2)
Madhu vasantha mazha nananju varumo
Oru swara thaaram pole japa laya manthram pole
Arikil varaam parannu parannu parannu parannu njaan
Oru kili paattu moolave maru kili etu paadumo(2)

{Valam kaal chilambumaay virunnethi ente nenjin
Mani thaazhin thazhuthinte azhi neekki nee…}(2)
Ninakku veeshaan venthinkal vishariyaay (2)
Ninakkurangaan raamacha kidakkayaay njaan
Ninte raamacha kidakkayaay njaan
Oru kili paattu moolave maru kili etu paadumo (2)

{Thiriyaay thelinju nin manassinte ambalathil
Oru janmam muzhuvan njaan eriyillayo}(2)
Ninakku meettaan vara rudhra veenayaay(2)
Ninakku padaan njaanenne swarangalaakki

Ennum njaanenne swarangalaakki

Oru kili paattu moolave maru kili etu paadumo
Madhu vasantha mazha nananju varumo
Oru swara thaaram pole japa laya manthram pole
Arikil varaam parannu parannu parannu parannu njaan

Oru kili paattu moolave maru kili etu paadumo(2)

10 July 2006

Happy now

For some reason I am happy now.

One factor of being happy is that someone is reading my blog and commenting. I am happy about it. :) [see the previous blog.] Am I acting too childlike?

Somebody for whom I have high regards, told me to write small blogs. So, I decided to make this blog (just this only) a small one. ;)

signing off, Sands.

9 July 2006

Good morning

Got up a little late today (7:20 AM). Since today is Sunday, it's fine. Holidays make you a little lazy one right? Was going through the news - Keralakaumudi is the one which comes in pdf, so that's my favorite. I think I've never commented anything about the politics/similar stuff here in this blog. This is the time for it.
  • Management College + Reservation + Fees + Minority Issues.

I don't understand why no one is doing the right thing. Nobody is bothered about what is to be done or what will do the good of society. I am not going to say what should be done nor going to explain the situation here. Whatever LDF does, oppose it - that is now things have to be done. I think this is the only policy of opposition(UDF). And now, if they do it, they have to stand for the minority classes and others(majority) wont like it. So change the color just for this issue. Really, the junta consists of idiots - with no choice left.

  • Police Force Improvement

I am seeing news these days saying the improvement of police force in the state. They are slowly starting to use technology. I wish, someday Kerala Police will be known like Scotland Yard. I think we do have the potential for that.

  • Meera Jasmin, Shabharimala Issue

WOW!! This is the best thing happening in the past 1-2 weeks. Meera entered some temple and now they have cancelled all the "pooja" they did for five days (Five days after she entered only they did the "cleaning" of the temple). How can someone take back the prayers? Isn't it funny?

Come on, First of all the idea of non-Hindus being forbidden in the temple has to go away. When will these priest-community have some brains? Is it so difficult to understand that Hinduism exists in mind, not in the caste? I enter the temple compound whenever I go home, I am no believer of God, still there is no problem. But if Yesudas, a true devotee of SreeKrishna enters a temple, it creates a huge issue. It's high time mallu's should grow up. Atleast change it from "non-Hindu" to "non-believer". That makes a little sense.

Shabarimala issue makes Meera issue look very small. Starting from the Kannada actress' confession, it's complete chaos there. Now the fight is between the astrologer and the 'thantri'. I pity them - I cant say anything else. Simply pity them. People are again proving they are idiots - they were always good at it.

I think, the journalists should be able to reduce the importance of these stuff. These priests will stop all non-sense once there is none to pay attention to their "assholism" ;)

A genuine-doubt :- Cant Mr. Ayyappan@Shabarimala control his mind while seeing ladies? If he loses his "bhrahmacharyam" just by having look at a woman, is he good enough to be a God? Better pray to our president Kalam, he is still single. He must be dealing with all kind of people including women of all varieties.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Added a copy of a graduation speech at my homepage.

8 July 2006

Life's Cool

Was never through this much of tension in my life. Mind is going through real stress-test. Still I am okay. That's why I say Life's Cool.

Wanted to talk to somebody. Vimal/Karthik/Hiran were the first options but was lucky to get chechi online today.

How are the problems going to end? How long it will take? What will be the aftermath of all this? How long it will last? What will I gain? What will I lose? Who all will lose/gain?

Think a lot dude... Think a lot. Do all the best you can. Why do I feel like talking to Guru now?

- Sands.

4 July 2006

Getting frustrated by a bath in DIRT

This post, as far as I think now, is going to be a long one. Generally, I think about the readers at times, when I write. But doing that will make me cancel this post.

Spoiler Warning : I am going to narrate something which pissed me off very well and I am going to blame the person who was behind it. Sorry dude, cant help it. (At the end, you have my usual blah blah blah about improving myself and doing lot of things and a little general knowledge)

Character #1 : Balaji
Character #2 : Rajyalakshmi alias Ammu
Character #3 : Sandeep (Myself)

From April beginning, I am here in Deutschland (Germany) and during those first days I had started looking for a room for me. It was then, character #1 got the permission to go to EPFL to do his Master Thesis on Quantum Computation/Coding. So, after talking to him, I made sure that once he leaves, I can inherit his room and for that reason, I stopped my room-hunt.

It was not in his control to get the Visa. It took about 1.5 - 2 months to get his visa ready. Ten days back, which was a Friday, he got the information that visa is ready and could be collected on Monday. According to what he had told, I expected him to leave by Wednessday. Finally, it was on Saturday he left.

So the room came to my posession. The room was a real mess. I, along with character #2, started cleaning up the room from one corner. The room is definitely less than 20 sq. metre. There is no exaggeration if I say it took 4-5 hours for two persons to get the room to a good shape. It was full of dust everywhere. The garbage lying around a corner was ages old. Since both of us are allergic to dust, now we are enjoying the pleasures of cold. This is my story of frustration. Cleaning a room for 4-5 hours and getting cold, when you really should have gotten a clean room was enough to get me pissed off. Remember, he had one week's time before he left.
Now, I am cooled down a bit. But the cold is at its peak and I am sneezing big time.

Anyway, I am not angry with Balaji and all. Was pissed of at that time.

Next : World Cup

Germany has come upto semi-finals. I am very happy. I hope they will be the champions. Somehow, I have this love for Germany. My friend told this as reading from my mind - "Germany is our second motherland". True, it feels like that.

Peculiar News - One of my friends fell sick when his favorite team lost in the quarter-finals. :)
He's fine now.

Next : Organize

I am trying to get myself organized better - like having a better style of living, having more predictable schedules. If somebody asks me - "what is your plan for next week this day, this time?". I should know about my plans and should act accordingly.

Good News - I am very very slowly getting organised myself. Made my plans for the next quarter. (I struggled for this while in industry)

Next : Internet history (I dugg it up from digg)

Did you know there is this site where you can find out the registration details and history of websites? http://whois.domaintools.com/ is the one which gives details. For example, to get the details of blogger.com, try http://whois.domaintools.com/blogger.com. It seems nordu.net (1984) and Symbolics.com (1985) are the oldest web-sites still alive.

End of entry.

PS: It's high time I should learn German properly.

26 June 2006

Update, Complaint and Appreciation

Chicken pox is over. I must have been very lucky to be back to normal in just a week's time. Till Tuesday evening there were new blisters coming. Then they started drying up. Now there are no active blisters. All of them are dried and even the marks will be gone in a couple of days. It feels very good to be recovered in a small time from a major disease. I proudly said to myself that my body faught very well :) [dont ask then How I got this illness first of all!!]

From today onwards I am back to office. (Not in bike, I use UBahn for this week)

As mentioned, I went to office today. I am using version of thunderbird and version of firefox. Today morning I reached office at 9:15. Before it turned 9:50, both of these nice software crashed once each. There is nothing which bugs you up more than these kind of stuff. I was writing a mail which I lost a major portion because of the crash. In Firefox, I had some 7-8 tabs open which were important to me and I lost them all and had to get them again. I got pissed off - but was helpless. I was seriously thinking of getting back to MUTT - which I used to say "GODS OWN MAIL CLIENT".

And every crash of the applications I use, makes me like Ragesh Agrawal more and also makes me realize the importance of the work he did. He was the person who tested my code and used to file bugs (I don't want to give the number here). But that is what made the solution go like hot-cake.

I am not promoting M$ products. But if they are dominating the world, the reason is simple - M$ products works. I am using IE7-Beta for the past few months. I cannot recollect it crashing. For the past few days I am trying out Office-12 beta 2. Man, in simply rocks! There is nothing to compare to it. It was in the old days M$ products used to crash and hang so much. Now they are far better. The daily use software XP, Office, IE these are the main things I use - they tend to work quite well.

Just went to the apple site today, and was surprised to see the following there. The reason for loving a Mac-laptop should be WINDOWS? See the underlined thing in the picture. I found it funny anyway. Those who have QuickTime and good bandwidth can go to apple home page and see the ads. They are really very nice and makes fun of M$ well.

One more update: I got my iPod-Gen-5-Black-30GB on last Friday. Today I took it with me. The first impression says that I am going to fall in love with it. I have a small doubt about the life of the battery though.

Wanted to make the blog a small one and it went too long. Signing off.


20 June 2006

The way to chicken pox.

I started having fever and these blisters on my body from last thursday onwards. It was on saturday it was confirmed to be chicken pox. Even though I went to the hospital on thursday night itself, they couldnt diagnose this disease.

They took my temperature, blood pressure. They even did and ECG on me. (I'll put the photos later). Almost 6 syringe blood they took for testing. Still they couldnt see this disease!! idiots.

Anyway after I knew I am having chicken pox, I am staying all day at home. These blisters are a little irritating. I have a decent throat pain and I feel very tired all the time.

Watched a couple of movies, started reading sidhartha. Have lot of plans but these tired feeling.. makes me a man of non-enthu!!

Enough of complains and bad things. Will try to write nice things in next post.

Yes... forgot one thing. How it feels when you get help from a very unexpected source? It happened to me. How it feels when you get looooooooooot more care than you expected from someone? This also happened to me and still happening.

An abrupt stop.
- Sands.

13 June 2006

A Fall (athava oru veezhcha)

This post was intended to be the details of Brussel's trip. But who knew I will fall from the bike today morning?

Thought - would be nice to record it here. I was coming from home today morning. The weather was nice, there was a nice breeze and lot of flowers on the way. I was thinking about life being so good. Coming to college itself is like an excursion. I like being at college also. I was pedalling quite fast. There was about some 500 metres more to the department. Had to take a turn (the angle made my the turn was about 110-120 degrees). I hadnt noticed the gravel there before, and hence I didnt reduce the speed much.

Just started to turn, I was at some 25km/hr speed, I knew I am falling and also that nothing could be done :) Anyway I didnt have to think much - everything happened very fast. Fell in the usual way one falls from bike [ actually just before touching the ground, you jump away :) ]. On my right palm, I have some skin gone - a small circle of half a centimetre radius, the skin was hanging when I got up from ground and I just removed it. There are some small small dots of skinless parts too on the right palm. Similarly a little skin from left palm also - oops! I couldnt remove it because it was already gone :)

Then was the fun.. My jeans which was a crodroy model had got very nice holes at the left knee. I could see the holes and feel the pain at my knee. I raised the jeans and saw a very nice wound there. Some skin was gone and there were two long cuts by some sharp edge (should have been the stones).

Luckily, the bike was fine except for the chain got displaced. (Bike is not actually mine). I just took a small stick and repaired the chain (the first stick i took had a couple of thorns of which hurt me and I went for another good stick). Again cycled to the department. Once I reached, cleaned the wounds, they were bleeding slightly, folded the jean till above my knee. Then I took a coffee with no sugar - you know why. And started with my days work.

So that's it.
- Sands

FootNote 1: Yesterday I got the odometer for the bike. So, I can see the speed at which I am pedalling. I had been to a speed of 45.8 km/hr yesterday. So this is how I knew the speed was 25km/hr when I was falling.

FootNote 2: I donno whether there is any "communist pacha" here to apply on the wounds. Will be good if I can get any.